Kevin O’Shea (of Mastclimbers LLC in Atlanta), chairman of IPAF’s International Mast Climbing Work Platform (MCWP) Committee, presented mastclimber safety before OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH). O’Shea was invited to speak in response to OSHA’s desire to see a move toward industry best practice and regulation following a series of accidents involving mainly MCWPs and cranes.
Among the facts and figures presented:
- An average of 12,600 people use MCWPs each day.
- More than 2.5 million working hours are put into the erection and dismantling of MCWPs each year.
- There are about 7 to 8 near misses on MCWPs each working day in the US.
- About 4,200 units operate each day in the US.
Some areas of concern raised:
- Insubstantial planking on the front edge of the platform causing either a trip or fall hazard,
- Inadequate anchor installation and testing,
- Anchors over or under-tightened,
- Ties temporarily removed and inadequately re-instated during use,
- Inadequately trained and assessed installers,
- Inadequately trained and assessed users.
O’Shea introduced the IPAF Guidelines for the Safe Use of Mast Climbing Work Platforms: US Edition 2008, recently released by IPAF, that provides comprehensive guidance and advice for MCWP users, installers, owners and rental companies. It also details the level of experience, education and skills verification required for those involved in the supply and use of the product.